Maine History - the history of Maine
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Vacation 2 USA   >   Maine   >   History
Vacation 2 USA   >   History   >   Maine History


Maine History

Before the arrival of Europeans, Maine was inhabited by Algonquian-speaking Native American peoples including the Wabanaki, Passamaquoddy and Penobscots.

The area was settled by both French and English settlers in the early 17th century, the French arriving in 1604, and the English in 1607. The province became part of the English Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1652, but nevertheless was the scene of several battles between the English and French over control the territory.

The territory was also fought over by the American and British forces during both the American Revolution (1775 to 1783) and the War of 1812. In fact, the border between Maine and British North America (which later to become Canada) was not finalized until the Webster-Ashburton Treaty of 1842.

Although politically part of Massachusetts, Maine was physically separated from the rest of the state. As a result, the idea arose that Maine ought to be admitted to the Union as a separate state. This idea was politically convienent, as the Missouri Compromise required that slave and free states be admitted to the Union in equal numbers - and thus Maine was admitted to the Union on March 15th 1820.

In the late 19th century, Maine began to industrialize with the establishment of many textile mills. This was supplemented by the growth of a ship building industry (which was to contribute significantly to the US war effort in World War II).

Post war, some of Maine's traditional industries have gone into decline. The state's economy has however diversified into new fields, including telemarketing and tourism. Today Maine has an economy based on a mix of seafood (particularly lobsters), agricultural produce and industrial products. Maine is also an important transportation hub, with Portland being New England's busiest port.

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Hidden History of Maine

By Harry Gratwick

Brand: The History Press
Released: 2010-04-10
Paperback (128 pages)

Hidden History of Maine
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The history of the Pine Tree State would be bare but for the contributions of hardy and impassioned individuals--generals, governors, settlers and activists whose lives of leadership make up the story of Maine's "hidden history." Author Harry Gratwick creates intimate and detailed portraits of these Mainers, from the controversial missionary Sebastien Rale to Woolwich native William Phips, whose seafaring attacks against French Canada earned him the first governorship of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Gratwick also profiles inventors who "challenged the assumptions of their] time and place," such as Robert Benjamin Lewis, an African American from Gardiner who patented a hair growth product in the 1830s, and Margaret Knight, a York native who defied nineteenth-century sexism to earn the nickname "the female Edison." Discover four hundred years of Maine's history through the tales of its unique residents, from soprano Lillian Nordica, who left Farmington to become the most glamorous American opera singer of her day, to slugger George "Piano Legs" Gore, the only Mainer to have ever won a Major League batting championship.

Maine: The Wilder Half of New England

By William David Barry

Barry William David
Paperback (288 pages)

Maine: The Wilder Half of New England
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  • Maine The Wilder Half of New England
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This concise, solid, and surprising overview traces 500 years of Maine history, from first contact between Native Americans and European explorers to the achievement of a Down East identity, national political power, and worldwide cultural identification. Changes in the economy, religion, ethnicity, arts, leisure, and education have all shaped Maine and Mainers, with some intriguing results.

Illustrated with well over 200 images drawn from the collections of the Maine Historical Society, the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, Special Collections at the Portland Public Library, the Maine State Museum, local historical societies, private collections, and even the Vatican, these pages contain many rare and fascinating drawings, paintings, and photographs. The bibliography is a rich resource for exploring Maine history further.

200+ B&W drawings and photographs

Maine: The Pine Tree State from Prehistory to the Present

By Richard W. Judd

Brand: Univ of Maine Pr
Paperback (616 pages)

Maine: The Pine Tree State from Prehistory to the Present
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The first comprehensive history of Maine to be published in decades, Maine: The Pine Tree State surveys the region’s rich history from prehistoric times to the early 1990s. Chapter authors are respected scholars in Maine history from the fields of archaeology, anthropology, ethnic studies, and the various subdisciplines of history:?political, cultural, economic, labor, military, maritime. Caught up at times in national events, Maine has also led the nation in important ways. Its fishing industry fed and its textile industry clothed the nation’s people. Maine loggers contributed heavily to the technologies used in cutting, hauling, and driving timber. Maine excelled in the production of wooden ships and supplied the expertise to sail them. In the nineteenth century Maine’s political leaders were among the most powerful in the nation, and Maine’s contribution to social reform attracted national recognition. All these subjects and others are explored in a narrative that encompasses Maine’s prehistory and its native people; the era of European exploration and settlement; Indian wars, revolution, and statehood; the logging, fishing, and maritime industries; family and community life; economics and politics; the arts and culture; and much more. Maine: The Pine Tree State will be an authoritative resource about Maine history for years to come.

The Lobster Coast: Rebels, Rusticators, and the Struggle for a Forgotten Frontier

By Colin Woodard

Colin Woodard
Released: 2005-04-26
Paperback (384 pages)

The Lobster Coast: Rebels, Rusticators, and the Struggle for a Forgotten Frontier
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  • The Lobster Coast Rebels Rusticators and the Struggle for a Forgotten Frontier
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“A thorough and engaging history of Maine’s rocky coast and its tough-minded people.”—Boston Herald

“[A] well-researched and well-written cultural and ecological history of stubborn perseverance.”—USA Today

For more than four hundred years the people of coastal Maine have clung to their rocky, wind-swept lands, resisting outsiders’ attempts to control them while harvesting the astonishing bounty of the Gulf of Maine. Today’s independent, self-sufficient lobstermen belong to the communities imbued with a European sense of ties between land and people, but threatened by the forces of homogenization spreading up the eastern seaboard.

In the tradition of William Warner’s Beautiful Swimmers, veteran journalist Colin Woodard (author of American Character: A History of the Epic Struggle Between Individual Liberty and the Common Good) traces the history of the rugged fishing communities that dot the coast of Maine and the prized crustacean that has long provided their livelihood. Through forgotten wars and rebellions, and with a deep tradition of resistance to interference by people “from away,” Maine’s lobstermen have defended an earlier vision of America while defying the “tragedy of the commons”—the notion that people always overexploit their shared property. Instead, these icons of American individualism represent a rare example of true communal values and collaboration through grit, courage, and hard-won wisdom.

How Maine Changed the World

By Nancy Griffin

Down East Books
Hardcover (136 pages)

How Maine Changed the World
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As Down East Books celebrates 50 years of great book publishing, it seems appropriate to reflect upon
the contributions Maine has made that have had significant cultural and historical impacts on both the
United States and the World. Did you know that the caterpillar tread, common on bulldozers and tanks,
originated from the design of Lombard’s steam log hauler; or that the dry plate photographic process was
created by the Stanley brothers, who also invented a speed-record setting steam powered car and whose
sister, Chansonetta, was a well-known photographer in her own right? Maxim’s machine gun forever
changed the practice of warfare. The humble peavey is a simple tool well-known to any forester or
lumberjack. The ubiquitous lobster boat, the microwave oven, earmuffs, and Monopoly—all came from
the minds of Mainers. This book is a celebration of Maine’s creative ingenuity—from the very large, such
as Portland Head Light and the Penobscot Narrows Bridge to the very small, such as the toothpick and the
Bean boot.

Hidden History of Midcoast Maine

By Patricia M. Higgins

Higgins Patricia M
Released: 2014-02-18
Paperback (160 pages)

Hidden History of Midcoast Maine
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  • Hidden History of Midcoast Maine
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From the Age of Discovery and the earliest settlement of America, Midcoast Maine has played surprising roles in America's history. Europeans might not have survived in the New World without the Kennebec beaver trade, the lessons of the Popham Colony and the friendships Maine's first settlers built. Experience the storied survival of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's military grandfather in precarious Revolutionary Maine and meet resilient, creative, noteworthy and notorious Midcoasters. Pat Higgins recounts Puritan power plays, the sea fight between the Boxer" and the "Enterprise," duels, U-boats and much more. Discover the fascinating and quirky bits of history that have remained hidden along the rocky coast from Portland to Acadia--until now.."

Sprague's Journal of Maine History, Vol. 8: June, 1920 (Classic Reprint)

By John Francis Sprague

Forgotten Books
Paperback (248 pages)

Sprague s Journal of Maine History, Vol. 8: June, 1920 (Classic Reprint)
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Excerpt from Sprague's Journal of Maine History, Vol. 8: June, 1920

Thus far we have considered the movement for separation from Massachusetts and admission to the Union as a separate state as it started, progressed and effected its end in, Massachusetts and 'maine.

Now we will follow the history of the admission of Maine as made at the National Capitol.

In 1819 it was evident that the free states of the Union had 'done all possible for the extirpation of slavery and everything had 'been done by the Federal Government which the constitution al lowed, and it was evident, also, that a constitutional amendment would be necessary before anything further could be done in this direction and owing to the fact that a large majority of the states would have to vote in favor of an amendment, it was impossible 'to effect such an amendment.

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This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.

Logging and Lumbering in Maine (ME) (Images of America)

By Donald A. Wilson

Brand: Arcadia Publishing
Released: 2001-06-06
Paperback (128 pages)

Logging   and Lumbering  in  Maine   (ME)  (Images  of  America)
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Known as the Pine Tree State, Maine once led the world in lumber production. It was the first great lumber-producing region, with Bangor at its center. Today, the state has nearly eighteen million acres of timberland, and forest products still make up a major industry. Logging and Lumbering in Maine examines the history from its earliest roots in 1630 to the present, providing a pictorial record of land use and activity in Maine. The state's lumber industry went through several historical periods, beginning with the vast pine and spruce harvests, the organization of major corporate interests, the change from sawlogs to pulpwood, and then to sustained yields, intensive management, and mechanized harvesting. At the beginning, much of the region was inaccessible except by water, so harvesting activities were concentrated on the coast and along the principal rivers. Gradually, as the railroads expanded and roads were constructed into the woods, operations expanded with them and the river systems became vitally important for the transportation of timber out of the woods to the markets downstate. Logging and Lumbering in Maine traces these developments in the industry, taking a close look at the people, places, forests, and machines that made them possible.

Pemaquid Peninsula:: A Midcoast Maine History (Brief History)

By Josh Hanna

Josh Hanna
Released: 2015-07-13
Paperback (240 pages)

Pemaquid Peninsula:: A Midcoast Maine History (Brief History)
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  • Pemaquid Peninsula Brief History
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Offshore fishermen and skillful shipbuilders transformed the quiet shores of the Pemaquid Peninsula beginning in 1815. The maritime economy drove local commerce until enterprising locals turned to ice harvesting, granite quarrying, brick making, lobster canning and pogy oil processing before summer tourism grew and thrived. The descendants of revolutionaries became the faces of a more prosperous generation--men like Albert Thorpe, who ran a popular summer hotel on the grounds where his grandfather had salted and dried his catch decades earlier. Today, summer rusticators discover the enduring natural beauty at the heart of the Pemaquid Peninsula. Journey to the past with Pemaquid native and historian Josh Hanna as he discovers these timeless shores.

The Twentieth Maine: A Classic Story of Joshua Chamberlain and His Volunteer Regiment

By John J. Pullen

John J Pullen
Paperback (352 pages)

The Twentieth Maine: A Classic Story of Joshua Chamberlain and His Volunteer Regiment
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  • The Twentieth Maine A Classic the Story of Joshua Chamberlain and His Volunteer Regiment
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We went into the fight with 386, all told--358 guns. Every pioneer and musician who would carry a musket went into the ranks. Even the sick and footsore, who could not keep up in the march, came up as soon as they could find their regiments, and took their places in line of battle, while it was battle, indeed. --Col. Joshua Chamberlain The fascinating story of Joshua Chamberlain and his volunteer regiment, the Twentieth Maine, is reprinted with a new foreword by Civil War historian and UCLA professor Joan Waugh. Pullen's classic and highly acclaimed book tells how Chamberlain and his men fought at Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville on their way to the pivotal battle of Gettysburg. There, on July 2, 1863, at Little Round Top, they heroically saved the left flank of the Union battle line. The Twentieth Maine's remarkable story ends with the surrender of Lee's troops at Appomattox.Considered by Civil War historians to be one of the best regimental histories ever written, this beloved standard of American history is now available in a new Stackpole edition. Includes maps, photographs, and drawings from the original edition.

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